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Health Services: Elderly

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what response she has made to the recommendation made by Sir Derek Wanless in his report of March 2006, “Securing Good Care for Older People”, that elderly care should receive an increase in funding equal to one per cent. of gross domestic product; [119666]

(2) what assessment she has made of the likely impact of the expected increase in the over 85-year-old population on demand for elderly care; and what steps her Department plans to take to meet this demand. [119668]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of older people, particularly those aged over 85, is expected to rise sharply over coming years with significant implications for public services, such as long-term care for the elderly. Recent reports from Derek Wanless for the King's Fund, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and others have made important contributions to the debate around the future of social care provision, which will also be informed by individual budgets, partnerships for older people projects, direct payments and the In Control programme. In assessing proposals, as part of the long term vision of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government will consider whether they are affordable, whether they are consistent with progressive universalism and whether they promote independence, dignity, well-being and control in line with “Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People”, the White Paper “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say” and the national service framework for older people.

The Department commissioned the personal social services research unit (PSSRU) at the London School of Economics to produce projections of demand for long-term care for older people. Their latest projections are set out in PSSRU Research Summary 35 which is available at, and in the Wanless social care report.

Hearing Impaired: Sight Impaired

Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of people over the age of (a) 65, (b) 75 and (c) 85 have a dual sensory impairment; [119398]

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(2) what assessment she has made of the effect of the Single Assessment Process for older people with dual sensory impairments; [119399]

(3) what procedures are in place to require that Commission for Social Care inspections will ensure that elderly deafblind people are offered (a) assessments by people suitably qualified or experienced in dual sensory impairment and (b) appropriate packages of care; [119400]

(4) what assessment she has made of the value for money offered by social services provision for elderly people with dual sensory impairments; [119401]

(5) what estimate she has made of the projected numbers of deafblind people over 65 who will require services over the next 10 years; and what assessment she has made of the impact this will have on future social care planning. [119402]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the proportion of people over the age of 65, 75 and 85 who have a dual sensory impairment is not held centrally.

In the context of developing the White Paper “Our health, our care, our say”, we are considering the scope for developing a single, holistic health and social care needs assessment process for all client groups including deafblind people. It is likely that the framework provided by the single assessment process would provide the basis for developing a common assessment framework (CAF) that would be applicable to adults more generally.

There are currently a range of national assessment processes in place across health and social care, including:

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) inspects all local authority social services departments and publishes star ratings on their performance which are available on its website at It is for local authorities to ensure that assessments are carried out by appropriately trained and experienced staff, cover the full range of needs presented by individuals, including dual sensory impairment, and result in appropriate packages of care.

We would expect local authorities to establish value for money offered by social services for older people with dual sensory impairments. We do not hold this information centrally and have therefore made no assessments of it.

We have made no estimate of the projected numbers of deafblind people over 65 who will require services over the next 10 years or what impact this will have on future social care planning.

Homeopathy: Finance

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future of funding of homeopathic treatment on the NHS. [120964]

Caroline Flint: The Government consider that decision-making on individual clinical interventions,
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whether conventional, or complementary/alternative treatments, have to be a matter for local national health service providers and practitioners as they are best placed to know their community's needs. In making such decisions, they have to take into account evidence for the safety and clinical and cost-effectiveness of any treatments, the availability of suitably qualified practitioners, and the needs of the individual patient. Clinical responsibility rests with the NHS professional who makes the decision to refer and who must therefore be able to justify any treatment they recommend. If they are unconvinced about the suitability of a particular treatment, they cannot be made to refer.

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to tackle hospital-acquired infections since May 2006. [116116]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Reducing healthcare associate infections, including meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile is one of the four top development priorities in the operating framework for 2007-08 published in December 2006. In addition to the existing target to halve MRSA blood stream infections by 2008 the operating framework also sets out the requirement for new local targets to significantly reduce Clostridium difficile infections.

In October 2006 a new statutory code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections was published. The Healthcare Commission, will assess compliance with the code as part of its annual health check process and has a new power to issue an improvement notice to a national health service body that in its view, is not properly observing the code.

A joint professional letter of 7 December 2006 announced a capital challenge fund of £50 million, £300,000 for each acute trust, for this year to help trusts tackle healthcare associated infections.

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expenditure the Government have made available in each year since 1997 to combat healthcare associated infections in NHS hospitals; and if she will make a statement. [118348]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Tackling healthcare associated infections is part of national health service mainstream activity and funded from mainstream resources.

However, in December 2006 we made available £50 million, £300,000 for each acute trust, through the capital challenge fund for capital investment this year to help to tackle healthcare associated infections.

Hospitals: Parking

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was raised from parking fees by each health authority in Chorley constituency in each of the last five years. [119356]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is shown in the table.

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The figures provided represent the gross income received from parking fees paid by staff and visitors, at
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national health service organisations in Chorley constituency where information is available.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust( 1) Preston Acute Hospitals NHS Trust( 2) West Lancashire Primary Care Trust
















(1) Established 2002-03.
(2) Merged to form Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 2002-03.
The information is as provided by NHS organisations without amendment. Since 2004-05, it has been provided on a voluntary basis and may therefore be incomplete.

Ministerial Code

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions in each year since 1997 her Department’s accounting officer has indicated that a course of action being considered would breach the requirements of propriety and regularity as set out in section 3.3 of the Ministerial Code. [118139]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: None.

Modernising Hearing Aid Service

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funding has been provided for the Modernising Hearing Aid Service for the digital switchover in each year; and what funding she provided for this purpose in 2007-08; [117606]

(2) what factors were taken into account when deciding that expenditure by health bodies on digital hearing aids should be as capital rather than revenue funding. [117610]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: £125 million was invested in audiology services between 2000-01 and 2004-05 through the modernising hearing aid services programme. In 2005-06 £12 million revenue and £26 million capital was allocated to national health service trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) for audiology services as part of the general allocations.

In 2006-07 revenue allocations for audiology services were included in the strategic health authority (SHA) bundle. The Department allocated approximately £5.5 billion to SHAs as a single bundle of budgets, with the aim being to give SHAs as much flexibility as possible in the management of funding and delivery of services. It was the responsibility of individual SHAs to decide, in consultation with local stakeholders, how best to deploy the funding. “The NHS in England: Operating Framework for 2007-08” confirmed that there will be another SHA bundle of central revenue budgets for 2007-08 with a proposed value is £6,945.8 million. The bundle will be supplemented by a service level agreement between the Department and SHAs. This agreement will include details of the services to be provided from the bundle. Decisions about funding levels for audiology services will need to be taken locally, with consideration given to the need to have sufficient direct access activity to substantially reduce waits.

In 2006-07 £26 million capital was allocated to NHS trusts and PCTs for their audiology services. A new capital regime has been put in place from 2007-08 under which NHS trusts can draw down as much capital as they can afford to service, rather than having it allocated to them. The new guidance for trusts, “New Capital Regime for NHS Trusts” was issued on 13 December 2006. PCTs capital allocation arrangements remain unchanged in 2007-08 with a significant increase in the resources that are allocated formulaically for investment by the sector. This increase in resources to PCTs has removed the need to allocate additional capital specifically for many initiatives, including audiology.

The modernisation of audiology services through the modernising hearing aid service programme required the NHS to purchase new packages of equipment to carry out the assessment and fitting of digital hearing aids. Digital hearing aids were funded from capital allocations on the basis that they were part of these packages of equipment that was classified as capital assets.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the provision by Netcare to cover claims for clinical negligence; and if she will make a statement. [118762]

Andy Burnham: The clinical negligence scheme for trusts (CNST) handles clinical negligence claims against member national health service bodies.

Where independent providers are providing services to NHS patients through the independent sector treatment centre programme, the same arrangements of CNST coverage for clinical negligence will apply as they do where an NHS patient is treated at an NHS trust.

NHS Foundation Trusts

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for her Department’s statement that (a) NHS foundation trusts are more likely to demonstrate innovative thinking than other NHS organisations, (b) foundation trusts are accountable to local people and (c) the financial autonomy of NHS foundation trusts brings about improved financial management and rigour. [120853]

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Andy Burnham: There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that performance and responsiveness has improved across the national health service foundation trust (NHSFT) sector. Independent case studies and assessments presented by the Foundation Trust Network Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) and the Healthcare Commission (the statutory name of which is the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection) show that operational freedoms are allowing NHSFTs to meet the aspirations of service users by improving services, and in some cases innovating new approaches to patient care more quickly than as an NHS trust.

The 58 NHSFTs now in existence are operating to a new framework which improves local accountability more than ever before. They have over 620,000 members drawn from the public, patients and staff and approximately 1000 patient and public governors. The numbers involved and degree of engagement suggests that NHSFTs are taking their local accountability obligations seriously and engaging effectively with members and governors. As organisations continue to mature and increase in numbers, we can expect membership and the role of governors to become firmly embedded in NHSFTs. Monitor’s published quarterly assessments confirm that NHSFTs are delivering a good financial performance and demonstrating financial rigour. The Healthcare Commission’s annual healthcheck which compares performance of all NHS organisations also showed that NHSFTs out-performed non-NHSFTs on use of resources and quality of services.

NHS Partners Network

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which individuals are members of the NHS Partners Network; [118758]

(2) how many complaints she has received from members of the NHS Partners Network on alleged breaches of procurement rules since 2005. [118759]

Andy Burnham: The network is formed from independent companies who provide healthcare services for National health service patients. The companies currently listed on the network’s website at are:

The Department is unaware of any complaints from members concerning alleged breaches of procurement rules.

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